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Road Warrior - Michael Pagano

Road Warrior - Michael Pagano

Written by: 
Amy Matheny

Meet Michael Pagano

In today’s Road Warrior post, we will get to know our Boston-based sales rep, Michael Pagano, who covers the New England territory. For Michael, he learned early on that being on the road was what he likes the best...


Michael, how did you get started in the fabric business?

“My foray into the fabric industry began at 36th and Broadway in the heart of Manhattan’s Garment District. Macy’s was next door, and that’s the Heralds Square Macy’s, The Thanksgivings Day Macy’s. I know – pretty exciting! 

The year was 1986, the company was Concord Fabrics (known today as Andover Fabrics) – one of, if not the, top cotton print houses at the time. I took the Metro North Commuter Rail from Scarsdale to Grand Central Station then walked among the masses to the office.

My first job was as a trainee, and my first learning curve was to figure out who the fabric converters are and whom they sell to – retailers and manufacturers.

One task of the job was to greet manufacturers in the lobby and escort them to the showroom for their appointments. I sat in on these meetings with the in-house designers, sales managers, and customers and wrote up the sample yardage requests. (By the way, early on, I referred to someone as a client and was informed that lawyers have clients, we have customers.)


Two appointments I remember in particular:

  • Two women from Indiana – friends, working out of their home – were looking for colorful floral designs as they started to produce “soft luggage.” They felt carry-ons were drab and wanted something more appealing. The bags were going to be constructed with quilted fabric. I wrote up a sample yardage order for a beautiful cabbage rose floral and a handsome paisley. The company was named after one’s mom – Vera Bradley.


  • Another day, a surfer dude from California came in and was looking for fun novelty prints for his new men’s underwear line. The company had a really cool, catchy name – Joe Boxer.

Well, I was offered the New England territory the next year, and in 1987, I moved to Boston and things progressed from there. I learned to overcome shyness and discovered I preferred to be out on the road as opposed to in the office. 

Twelve years later, I hit it big – real big! I was hired to be the New England sales rep for United Notions, better known today as Moda Fabrics + Supplies. I got really lucky, I know!”